Veteran modelling instructor and mental health activist Sipho Mazibuko said she joined Zanu PF out of her own volition as she believes it is the “right party” to belong to as it offers many opportunities.
Mazibuko told Standard Style that she was now a card-caring member in Bulawayo’s ward four.
The former model joined a host of artistes and celebrities who now associate themselves with President Emerson Mnangagwa-led Zanu PF.
Over a week ago, comedienne Mai TT led a women’s delegation that met Mnangagwa at State House under the banner Women for ED [economic development].
However the Women for ED initiative and many other programmes involving artistes are seen as political gimmicks as Zimbabwe goes to the polls in 2023 where Zanu PF is trying to lure the youth vote.
“Previously I didn’t belong to any political party, but I would vote,” Mazibuko said. “However, now I have chosen to associate myself with a party, which is Zanu PF.
“I feel Zanu PF is the right party to join since it has proper structures that can be used nationwide.
“I really like the initiatives that the second republic is doing to better the lives of the youths and women spearheaded by the first lady Auxilia Mnangagwa. I want to use my influence and skills to help in the socio-economic change of my country.”
Responding to remarks that joining Zanu PF was an act of clout-chasing and trying to get sponsorships for her pageants, Mazibuko said she received sponsorships even before joining the ruling party.
“I have been in this business for more than 23 years and I have been getting sponsorships even before I joined the party, so saying I am trying to solicit for sponsorship is hogwash,” she said.
“I want to make it clear that I am joining Zanu PF in my own capacity and I am not dragging anyone or models that I work with to Zanu PF. Freedom of association is everyone’s constitutional right.”
After being admitted at Bulawayo’s Ingutsheni mental health facility following a breakdown, Mazibuko recently established an initiative named Mental Voices, which seeks to advocate for mental health awareness.
Mazibuko, who is the licence holder for Miss Rural Zimbabwe, has re-introduced the pageant which made headlines a decade ago. Preparations for the new pageant have started with dates of provincial finals soon to be announced.
“I promise new life and new opportunities with the return of Miss Rural Zimbabwe. We have been away for long and we have learned many things that we will bring to life, all I can say is that Miss Rural is back and ready to promote local and rural tourism in Zimbabwe,” she said. Standard